Circle dance, is the most common name for a style of traditional dance usually done in a circle without partners to musical accompaniment.
Dancing in a circle is an ancient tradition common to many cultures for marking special occasions, strengthening community and encouraging togetherness. The circle is probably the oldest known dance formation. It is found even today in the community dances of many cultures, including Greek (Greek dances surviving from ancient Greece (chorea)), African, Eastern European, Irish Celtic, Breton, Catalan (sardana), South American and North American Indian. It is also used, in its more meditative form, in worship within various religious traditions, including, for example, the Church of England and other Anglican Churches.
Modern circle dance mixes traditional folk dances, mainly from European or Near-Eastern sources, with recently choreographed ones to a variety of music both ancient and modern and they draw on a rich and diverse dance tradition. There is also a growing repertoire of new dances to classical music and contemporary songs.
Circle dances can be energetic and lively or gentle and reflective. The style and mood reflects the group and the interests of the teacher. The aim always is to experience the joy of dancing with others and to create a sense of well-being and community. Circle dance groups grew up first in the UK and then across Europe, the US and elsewhere as a result of the work done by Bernhard Wosien.